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*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Ailie Webb

"I was desperate to have more energy to be able to tackle the demands of motherhood with a fun, energetic and healthy approach."

For Ailie, it is important to set a great, healthy example for her children and others around her. As a naturally social person, Ailie felt trapped, never wanting to leave the house. "It was frustrating to be held captive by a 'fat suit' that I felt I was wearing."

There were many important factors that led Ailie to choose OPTAVIA. "The biggest factor for me that set this program apart from others, was the availability of a Coach." Living a busy life like many others, Ailie loved the convenience of the food and the simplicity of the program. She enjoyed the freedom to cook a lean and green meal every day as well as the variety of Fuelings she could select from. "It is SO easy to live life whilst on program."

Ailie thinks it's funny that people do not recognize her and loves the compliments she receives having lost 47 pounds*. The most meaningful compliment that she gets is how healthy she looks. "I am LOVING life again!"

Working out is now enjoyable for Ailie. She is doing things she previously thought was impossible such as training to run a 5k, kickboxing, and reformer Pilates. "I'm doing things that I would never have done before, like going to the beach, bike riding with my baby, and going out running with all of my kids!" Ailie can finally exercise with ease and push herself harder than ever before all while balancing the importance of her family.

Ailie's relationship with her kids and husband has drastically improved as well. "My family as a whole is eating more healthily, and they ALL know the importance of balance in life." She has taught them the importance of balancing different food groups, relaxation versus exertion, and spending time together versus taking time for yourself.

Ailie no longer faces mood swings and she and her family welcomes more positivity in their lives. "I am less stressed than I ever have been and feel I can handle difficult situations better." Ailie has finally found the balance she has been looking for amongst her life.

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Colleen Green

"The great news is there's no end date on the Habits of Health™. You keep the habits that you learn in this program. Being healthy is not just about a number; it's about a lifestyle of good habits."

When Colleen's best friend from college asked her if she wanted to "do this" with her, she wasn't quite ready to commit.

At 333 pounds, Colleen was big, but active. She thought of herself as a "gym junkie" because she was always in spin class or some other activity. Even her doctor reported good blood work in her labs. But she did want a change. Never able to lose more than 50 pounds, she started talking to her doctor about surgery.

But after watching her friend shed 30 pounds* with the help of her OPTAVIA Coach Shannon (who also had success on the plan), she wanted in. Colleen began to feel that this was her time; she was now ready. A week before Thanksgiving 2014, she got on plan with her Coach, and the weight poured off. She never looked back.

At 100 pounds down*, Colleen started running. This was a huge accomplishment for the heavy child who got out of running the mile at school with a note from her father's medical practice partner excusing her from the run.

After 16 months of love, encouragement, and support from her Coach and the OPTAVIA community, Colleen reached her goal: She had lost 180 pounds*. She celebrated being half her previous size by running a half marathon.

It was Colleen's inclusive enthusiasm that motivated Shannon to tell her she should become a Coach. Colleen was already helping and encouraging other people. Becoming a Coach herself was the obvious next step.

"You can be as involved as you like, and help others on your schedule," she says about coaching, which works well for her since she works full-time as a data analyst.

Colleen has learned so much on her journey with OPTAVIA and the community. Most helpfully, she's learned the "why's" behind so many of her previous struggles. Through Dr. A's Habits of Health™ and the education and information OPTAVIA so freely shares, Colleen has learned how to identify those triggers that kept her eating emotionally, and how and why carbs and sugars can sabotage her plans.

"There's no blame or shame in OPTAVIA," Colleen says. "Just empowering encouragement. I had to figure out the WHY behind the problems. Not knowing why I was eating or couldn't lose weight was what kept me in the endless cycle."

Providing the critical knowledge of the Habits of Health™ to her own Clients keeps Colleen motivated. She says, "The great news is there's no end date on the Habits of Health™. You keep the habits that you learn in this program. Being healthy is not just about a number; it's about a lifestyle of good habits."

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Esther Holland

"I have a whole new life now because of OPTAVIA," Esther says. "I've been able to pick out a route for my life that speaks to me."

Though Esther had tried many diets and programs, she had never seen long-term success with any of them. That didn' t stop her, however, from going to the gym to burn calories, exercising heavily, including going to Zumba class. But she continued to weigh in around 300 pounds. Esther now realizes there was a huge disconnect in her mind.

"I didn' t realize how much I needed to change my habits and rein in my calories and food intake," Esther says. "I had lost up to 100 pounds several times, but because I never adopted a new lifestyle, it didn' t make a lasting difference."

More than the physical limitations Esther's weight created in her life, the mental, emotional, and psychological limitations caused even more pain. "I was bereft of confidence," Esther says. "I was hiding under the covers, never discovering who I really was. I stayed away from a career, from friends. The emotional part of being that overweight was awful."

Several people in Esther' s community had engaged with OPTAVIA Coaches, and Esther began to see people "melting away." She ran into a college friend who had the shared struggle of going up and down the scale, but now was at a normal healthy weight. Esther met her friend's Coach Jackie. Though she had lost weight and was down to 285 pounds through heavy exercise at that point, Esther knew she needed additional help and support.

Over the next nine months, Esther lost 137 pounds*. "It's not magic because you are doing the work, but it feels like magic," she says. "The structure of the program and the support of my Coach and my consistent success carried me along."

The Habits of Health™ played a huge role in Esther's success by raising her level of engagement and her awareness of her own blinders. "The unique structure of the program made the knowledge come to life," she says, "and my growing confidence allowed me to face my own issues. I learned a lot about myself by adopting Dr. A's new ways of thinking. It helped me see my capabilities."

It's an upward spiral that Esther plans to continue following as an OPTAVIA Coach. Her own Coach and the support team provided an anchor to help keep her solid through video and phone support calls, sharing information and inspiration. She soon became ready to help others the way she had been helped, and her business goals have grown along with her confidence.

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Justin Barton

"The OPTAVIA community is so inspiring," Justin says. "Through Facebook, Twitter, Zoom calls and other social media outreach, we're able to create a sense of trust that program will work, and to share ideas."

Justin had always been a really skinny kid, but once he hit his 30's, he started gaining weight. Fast food was a constant, and like most Americans, he didn't really understand how his caloric intake was causing his weight to dramatically balloon. When he was with the youth group from his church and was shunned off the roller coaster ride because his stomach was too big for the safety harness, Justin realized his life needed to change. At 325 pounds, it was time.

"My Pastor was having results with OPTAVIA, and his results were where I wanted to be personally," says Justin. "I asked him 'what are you doing?' He told me about the program, and I was ready."

It took Justin five months to lose 100 pounds*. "I didn't want a pill or medications. I wanted something that worked from the inside. Food is what got me here. I wanted a way to attack that."

Justin became an OPTAVIA Coach himself after just one month into his own program. His business is growing and helping other people change their own lives is what keeps him motivated. "One of my Clients is close to his goal weight, he has lost 120 pounds*. Helping even just one person makes this all worthwhile, but I've been able to help many, many people."

A foundational part of the OPTAVIA approach is re-educating people about food and their bodies, and Justin says providing this "new way of thinking" is key. "Being a Coach is so much more than a business," Justin says. "It's helping others understand what's going into our bodies; it's teaching others to become label readers; it's learning new habits."

Justin shares with his Clients the same approach his Coach shared with him: adopting new Healthy Habits that can last a lifetime. "By the time I was ready to transition from the 5 & 1 Program to the 3 & 3 Program, I had new habits from learning the Habits of Health™. I had consistency, which is what got me where I am. As a Coach, I want to keep encouraging people to finally do it."

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Michael Vecchio

"What I know now that I didn't know four years ago expanded my world. I can fight the emotional aspects of overeating now. I can get up and move."

A good job, family and friends, even a house. The American Dream, right? But Michael was despairing and sad. Even though dieting had been a way of life for years, he had always failed at it anyway. He tried not to think about all the things he avoided: mirrors, being in pictures, going to the theater or playing football with the kids. Even taking out the garbage was a chore.

To the son of 1st generation Italian immigrant parents, food was a very big and important part of Michael's childhood. Heavy since his teen years, dieting became an unfruitful way of life that taught him nothing about health and food. He continued to eat for emotional reasons, turning to food to hide. But it was his mother's cancer and subsequent passing 9 months later that catapulted him into obesity. From terrible feelings of guilt and pain, Michael began eating himself to death. At 370 pounds, his pants size grew to 58 and he wore a 5x in shirts.

It was his son's graduation that became the turning point for Michael. Seeing himself in the photos was a wake-up call. Depressed, he was on Facebook and saw a page called "30 Days of Inspiration," created by an OPTAVIA Coach. Michael immediately sent a private message asking for help, and got started on the program.

Michael's Coach Sal offered him "a new way"-one that included support, friendship, education and a community. "I lost 136 pounds* with OPTAVIA, says Michael. "But I gained so much more. I gained optimism and inspiration. I became a whole new person."

Michael became a Coach to share with others that nothing is impossible. "I want to be a guiding light for people who are suffering. If I could lose 136 pounds in my mid-40's and change my life, then anyone can do it."

He wanted to pay forward the outpouring of love, support, friendship and encouragement he received from his Coach and the OPTAVIA community. He says, "What I know now that I didn't know four years ago expanded my world. I can fight the emotional aspects of overeating now. I can get up and move."

Michael says being a Coach also keeps him accountable to his new lifestyle. Health, he says, is not something that ends. Being a Coach and learning from all the great leaders provides so many more opportunities. There is potential for the financial growth of being a Coach, and he's excited about where his business might take him.†

"OPTAVIA makes no guarantee of financial success. Success with OPTAVIA results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and leadership. Your success will depend upon how well you exercise these qualities. Please see the OPTAVIA Income Disclosure Statement for statistics on actual earnings of Coaches."

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Sandra Bruce

"I love this program so much and I want other people to feel that hope. I want them to know that no matter how high you think your wall is, you can climb it with this program."

Though she'd been on every diet, Sandy had always been able to maintain what she considered a "normal" size. She had an active life hiking, biking and just living. But life happens, and in her early 50's Sandy found herself in a new role-complete caregiver to her disabled husband, and supporting her daughter and autistic grandson, and her frail 90 year-old mother. All her relationships had shifted, and her life began to pile up as she made her way through it as best she could.

Over time, Sandy became twice as big as she had been, weighing in at 245 pounds. She started a non-profit organization to help autistic kids learn soft skills. She was turning down networking opportunities and speaking engagements with depression and disappointment. She was hiding under layers and layers of clothes. At 245 pounds, Sandy was looking at a picture of herself but she couldn't recognize that woman or even identify with her. "I see a sad, uncomfortable woman," she thought. "That's not me."

Then it began to sink in. She is that woman in the photo. Sandy says she thought to herself, "My joints hurt. My activity is restricted. I can't play on the floor with the grandkids. I have headaches and reflux. I have been retreating and withdrawing. I have been hiding." Sandy realized that she hadn't really "seen" herself in years, and this sad woman she saw in the photo really was what she'd become. And then she was diagnosed with cancer, a type in which obesity is a prominent risk factor. That was a wake up call.

"My brother forwarded me a newsletter from his doctor that had Dr. A's Habits of Health™ in it. I picked up the phone and called. Eleven months from that time, I had lost 120 pounds*. I call it the 'half-me project.' "

What made the difference? Sandy says the one-on-one Coach support and the healthy lifestyle made all the difference. "This is so much more than a diet; it's learning how your body works and teaches you to stay a step ahead of your body's cravings."

The plans provide a structure to get comfort eating and emotional eating under control. It's this message that Sandy wants to take to others as an OPTAVIA Coach.

"I love this program so much and I want other people to feel that hope. I want them to know that no matter how high you think your wall is, you can climb it with this program."

The life you want is waiting, all you have to do is take the first step.